Home Management: Work From Home Mom
It wasn't until I had a child of my own that I really appreciated how my mom ran a business while we were kids. She had an office just off our playroom and somehow managed to take phone calls, do paperwork, and pack orders while my siblings and I ran around. When I think about HOW she did it, I can only come up with two big differences between her life and mine. First, I had siblings and lots of neighbors to play with. (My son is an only child.) And second, we watched a lot of TV. (Sorry, mom!) While I don't think we're any worse off for watching amounts of Sesame Street, I am trying (maybe unsuccessfully) to limit my son's screen time. So what does a work-from-home mom do to get to well...work? Here's what I've figured out so far:
Tips for Working From Home
- Schedule: Learn how to prioritize which tasks can be done with your child and which can't. There are some things that require intense concentration and have to be saved for when my son is asleep. But there are other tasks I can do while he plays alongside me. I try not to be on the computer too much when he is awake.
- Involve your child: I always felt very important when my mom asked for my "help" stuffing envelopes, stapling papers, etc. Depending on your child's age, there are lots of tasks they can do. Granted, some things may take longer with a small child involved. So have realistic expectations.
- Ask for help: If you can find another work from home parent in your neighborhood, try a babysitting swap. Then you can save up the work that requires extreme concentration for the time your child is visiting his/her new "friend."
- Go Mobile: This one takes some balance, which I admit I haven't quite achieved yet. My iPhone is invaluable for working a bit here and there throughout the day. Now that my son is a little older, he likes to assert his independence. Sometimes on the playground he says, "You sit over there and just watch me. I want to go play by myself." This is the perfect time to fit in one or two emails. I try to limit the time looking at my phone, though. I want to be present in the moment. And you can even make use of a virtual receptionist service if you are extremely busy with calls and arrangements, as that will save you a great deal of time.
- Let it go: I can't do it all. It looks like some of my friends can. I've wasted time and energy feeling inadequate or being jealous. I've accepted that I can't be the mom I want to be while getting everything else perfect. So my abs have gone and my house is full of cat hair. But I'm doing the work I love and getting to love the most wonderful little boy in the process!
Do you work from home? If so, how do you find balance between work and motherhood?
Featured image courtesy of Pixabay
Jennifer Weedon Palazzo is the mom of a precocious energetic boy and the co-creator/writer/and producer of http://www.MomCaveTV.com, a new online network of comedy shows for moms. Check it out! She blogs for Lady & the Blog and ParentSavers. When she’s not writing about the funny side of being a mom, Jennifer can be found eating Reese’s Cups while furiously bidding on vintage clothing on eBay. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Evan Palazzo, bandleader of the Hot Sardines, and their son. Follow her on Twitter: @slummy_mummy